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February 3, 2004
Feb 3: Super Tuesday 1

John Kerry is poised to take five of the seven states going to the polls today and finish a strong second in the other two:

After back-to-back wins in Iowa and New Hampshire, Sen. John Kerry was hoping for a sweep in the biggest test yet for Democratic hopefuls, seven states holding primaries or caucuses. But the race's two Southerners were angling to slow the Massachusetts Democrat's gathering momentum. Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina was counting on a victory in South Carolina's first-in-the-South primary on Tuesday to keep his own campaign alive. And retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark of Arkansas hoped for a win in Oklahoma and a respectable showing in both Arizona and New Mexico to propel his campaign into the next round of contests.

Howard Dean, of course, has already surrendered in these states, and has laid off even more campaign workers as his organization has burned through over $40 million in just the first two contests:

One-time front-runner Howard Dean was hoping to put his campaign back on track, but was looking beyond Tuesday's contests — where he is not running any TV ads and where polls show he is badly lagging — to later races. Dean's campaign, which has severely cut back on spending, engaged in another round of layoffs, aides said Monday night.

Real Clear Politics shows Kerry leading in four states and second in two. The only state missing is North Dakota, which holds open caucuses instead of primaries, and which is normally heavily Republican anyway. In one of the two states he trails, Oklahoma, RCP only has Kerry behind Wesley Clark by two percentage points, and Oklahoma voters may calculate Clark's chances as low when they actually hit the voting booths.

My prediction is that Kerry takes all states except South Carolina, where he caused a minor kerfuffle when he claimed that John Edwards couldn't even win his home state, a comment he later said referred to a general election in November and not the primary. I predict Edwards wins South Carolina by five percentage points. Kerry edges Clark by three or four points in Oklahoma. Everywhere else goes strong for Kerry, and Edwards emerges as his only viable opponent.

Clark is done after tonight and sometime in the next week acknowledges his defeat and endorses Edwards as the Clinton efforts gravitate towards the only Southerner left in the race. Lieberman and Sharpton also bow out after tonight, even though Sharpton might win a few delegates in South Carolina. Dean continues to pursue his Ross Perot strategy, but within the next two weeks he will discover that the race has passed him by; incompetence and financial mismanagement have combined to make Dean all but irrelevant.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 3, 2004 6:02 AM

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» Primary Prediction Roundup from CALIFORNIA YANKEE
A smaller portion of the blogosphere got out the crystal balls this week. Ten Bloggers predict Kerry to win everywhere except South Carolina where they predict Edwards will win. California Yankee. Captain Ed, at Captain's Quarters. Election Prediction.... [Read More]

Tracked on February 3, 2004 2:21 PM

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